Check with a pro
Talk to your doctor before adding any new supplement to your regimen, especially if it has the potential to lower your blood sugar. “People with diabetes may be looking for something that seems less potent than a medication or something that will treat other health issues beyond blood sugar control, such as high cholesterol,” says Laura Shane-McWhorter, a pharmacist and author of The American Diabetes Association Guide to Herbs & Nutritional Supplements: What You Need to Know from Aloe to Zinc. But experts are reluctant to recommend supplements to people with diabetes because there’s little research on long-term safety. Plus, no supplement controls blood sugar as effectively as diabetes medication drugs (in combination with a healthy lifestyle). Here are 10 popular herbs and supplements for people with diabetes. If you don’t see results after a month or two, stop wasting your money.
- Main use: Lowering blood sugar
- Typical dosage: 200 to 250 milligrams twice daily
This plant’s Hindi name, gurmar, translates as “sugar destroyer,” and the plant is regarded as one of the most powerful herbs for blood-sugar control. It may work by boosting the activity of enzymes that help cells use glucose or by stimulating the production of insulin. Though it hasn’t been studied extensively, it’s not known to cause serious side effects. One study published in 2017 in the journal Appetite found that participants who drank tea containing Gymnema sylvestre reduced their liking for sweet foods, an effect that could have implications for obese and overweight people. Try these healthy habits to prevent diabetes.